As we continue our Seek the Gifts series on gifts of the Spirit, we’ve just begun to look at the categories of the gifts, starting with the leadership gifts. Now we turn to the service gifts. They describe another way we can serve God’s people with excellence.
All the gifts of the Spirit He uses through us to minister to others. And the service gifts are no different. The Holy Spirit uses us in our SHAPE to do the things not everyone is able to do. Let’s dive in to the service gifts and find out if you have any of them.
Natural Abilities on Fire
The Spirit gives many of the gifts and uses them through us. They are completely His. But He also uses the abilities we already have, which were given to us by God. The service gifts are also called the grace gifts.
Not everyone has these abilities the Holy Spirit uses as gifts. Some people have these natural abilities, and the Holy Spirit amplifies them with His power. But they give grace to those who don’t have them.
We all need one another in the body of Christ. Even without the gifts, you have abilities I do not. And I have abilities you do not. Without these vital grace gifts for service to the rest of the body, we lack the necessary and full range of the Spirit’s gifts.
These gifts work within our personality and strengths. God has gifted everyone with abilities that fit who they are. The Holy Spirit uses these gifts within that framework. They fit our SHAPE. We will talk about our SHAPE when we discuss how to discover your gifts later.
But SHAPE looks like this:
S – Spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 7:7). The Spirit gives you gifts and ministries to others through you.
H – Heart (Philippians 2:13). Whatever you love to do, the Spirit wants to use you in that area of ministry to others.
A – Abilities (1 Corinthians 12:5-6; 1 Peter 4:11). The Spirit will use the natural abilities, talents, and skills you have.
P – Personal Style (Ephesians 2:10). The Holy Spirit uses our sanctified personality to serve within the body of Christ. The gifts work in harmony with our personality and personal style. It determines where and how we serve.
E – Experience. The Spirit uses our spiritual, educational, ministry, and even painful experiences as part of our ministry to others.
He takes into account all these facets of who we are to find the perfect place for us in ministry. And the gifts factor into who we are, who God has made us to be. So as He ministers through these natural abilities, and enhances them for His service, He uses them for His glory.
People with the gift of administration work in details. They often are behind the scenes, organizing events and information. You will find them working as secretaries and with the finances of the church.
They thrive in managing the projects and details of the church and ministry. Without them, churches would be a mess. They would be disorganized and disorderly. They like to plan things. They help with a ministry’s strategies, procedures, and vision. They do very well with coordinating people and events.
Some people believe in ministry that there are people-oriented and administration-oriented pastors. When I was in between college and seminary, I spent a summer working with a minister friend. He told me he was great with people but found the church office disorganized and had no drive to organize it. But my gifts lay more in organizing. So we helped each other out for the summer.
People with the gift of helps also work in the background. These are people who don’t want to be in the spotlight. That fits their personality. They are the foot soldiers of God’s army, willing to go anywhere and do anything that needs done. They have a servant’s heart.
They provide relief and support to the body of Christ. They know they are vital to the church and important to God’s work. These are people willing to do janitorial work, work with the sound system, and other tasks around the church.
Every Christian is called to give financially to God’s ministry in the church and abroad. These are people who are willing to give financially, emotionally, and physically to help others (Romans 12:8; Ephesians 4:28).
They recognize God’s blessing on their life to be a blessing to others. The Spirit enables them to give money and resources to the church for His ministry. They give of their time and possessions to help others. They are cheerful and generous givers.
People with the gift of giving do not have to be rich. I have found some who have this gift and must learn to not give so much that they become the ones in need. God teaches them how to use their gift in proportion to their ability to give.
The Spirit gives people with the gift of serving, or service, the ability to assist others in the body of Christ. You can also call it the gift of ministry (Romans 12:7; 1 Peter 4:11). They render personal aid and help to others. These are people who see or hear of a need and jump into action.
The Spirit enables them to do the practical and necessary tasks that free up support and meet other people’s needs. They actually help others be more effective as they use their gift. The gift of service powerfully helps and ways many people won’t realize.
Hospitality has always been a cornerstone of the Church. It’s a gift mentioned by the apostles more than once. They especially ask the churches to greet others at the end of their letters. Since the church is Matt in homes, it makes sense that the gift of hospitality invites others into your personal life and space.
These people perceive the needs of others without needing to ask. They provide friendship and fellowship to those in need (Romans 12:13). They make strangers feel welcomed and comforted. Everyone who meets them feels like family.
People with the gift of hospitality are warm and friendly. They share themselves with others, providing food, fellowship, and shelter for those in need. They openly give of themselves and their resources, providing peace to those who need it most.
These service gifts are vital to the body of Christ. Without people to administer, give, help, provide hospitality, and serve others, the body of Christ would be lacking in so many ways to show the love of Christ.
So if you saw yourself in any of these gifts, you may have a service gift. You must not think of yourself or your gift any less than those who are more out front in their gifting. You are necessary to the body. We need your ministry! Do you have any of these gifts?
The service gifts take our natural abilities and infuse them with the Spirit’s power to serve the Church in greater ways. Next, we will look at the spiritual gifts often used in services and gatherings.